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electric vehicles
A fleet of Nissan Leafs, electric vehicles, recently purchased by Facilities Services for use on campus are setup for a photo at Cherokee Farm.

Through an innovative program intended to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions on campus, Facilities Services recently purchased eight new electric vehicles—two that replace gas-combustion vehicles and six that are new to the facilities pool.

The purchase of the vehicles was made possible through the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Assistance program, launched in March 2018 through the student environmental initiatives fee.

Preston Jacobsen, sustainability manager, developed the idea for the program with Cris Taylor, director of fleet management.

“The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Assistance program is essentially a cost assistance program,” said Jacobsen. “It incentivizes the use of alternative fuel vehicles on and off campus in an effort to reduce gasoline and diesel consumption. The program’s added benefits include greenhouse gas emission reductions, vehicle tracking, a vehicle needs assessment, and lowered maintenance cost through the life of the vehicle.”

While the eight Nissan Leafs purchased are available for use only by Facilities Services employees, the program’s scope is campus wide. Any college, department, or office can purchase electric and hybrid vehicles through the program, which supplements the costs that would have been used on a diesel or full gas vehicle.

“As UT strives to become carbon neutral by 2061, taking steps such as replacing typical combustion vehicles with electric vehicles is vital,” said Carolyn Brown, sustainability outreach coordinator. “This program allows employees to have the benefits of a new vehicle, all while helping to reduce transportation emissions.”

To learn more about the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Assistance program or apply to purchase vehicles through the program, visit the sustainability office website.

The largest nonacademic department on campus, Facilities Services has nearly 150 UT-owned vehicles, with another 730 vehicles spread throughout different colleges and departments.


Brian Canever (865-974-0937,

Carolyn Brown (865-974-7386,